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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gates makes pitch for major reforms of U.S. controls on sensitive exports

Could this be an argument for a nationalization of the defense industry? Can anyone really expect the developed defense industrial complex to ever get together and put profits second to anything (e.g. a modern day Manhattan Project of some sorts for something important)?
Critics for years have made arguments similar to the ones presented by Gates on Tuesday: The present system does not always control the export of dangerous technologies, while restrictions on the trade of some goods that are now widely available in the commercial market only have the effect of hurting U.S. companies.

Each year the government reviews tens of thousands of license applications for export to European Union and NATO countries. In 95 percent of the cases the export is granted. Additionally, many components of a major piece of defense equipment — such as a combat vehicle or aircraft — require their own export licenses, Gates said.

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